Unwrapping 2018: Data & Music Diversification

“Music is a necessity. After food, air, water and warmth, music is the next necessity of life.” Keith Richards.


Music consumption has diversified drastically from the perspective of how we listen. It’s possible to listen to it on a multitude of channels, giving young people greater access to music. The challenge for young people today is what to choose when there is more music at their fingertips than ever before.

Despite music discovery services and platforms doing their best to curate a steady feed of personalised tracks, the volume and frequency of what is being listened to contends with the intimacy of the music experience.

“Music plays a huge role in my life. Anytime I’m not in conversation or doing something that requires full concentration, I’m more than likely listening to music.” - Ben, 22.

So what do you do for a cohort whose experience of music gets diluted because of how much music is in their life? How do you stand out to young people who have access to the world’s music at the touch of a button? Enter Spotify Wrapped.


Spotify has over 170 million active users and over 83 million paid subscribers. Spotify Wrapped, a Christmas gift to its millions of users, is an online tool that uses your listening history from the past year and calculates your top artists, songs, favourite genre, and total listening time. You could have looped meditation playlists, a single album played obsessively on repeat, or discover that “Baby Shark” was your top played song.

Its features include a playlist of what you listened to most over the last year, and another that recommends tracks to check out in the year to come. The value for young people in this is that they can show their friends a summary of the year from their own, totally unique perspective. They also have the opportunity to reflect on their music listening experience. Upon seeing the summary - whether inspired by sentiments of pride or guilty pleasures - it’s a serious challenge for youth to avoid the ‘share’ button.


For music fans, this reflection inspires action. The call to action is twofold. Firstly, after inspiring that all sought after social media ‘share’, there is a drive for connection and closeness around our individual experiences. Music is intrinsically linked to a desire to share and connect with others. People naturally tagged artists in social media posts with #SpotifyWrapped - enhancing the collectivity of (and inspiring conversation around) our music experiences.

Secondly, through the diversification of how we listen, Spotify Wrapped (echoing themes from Smirnoff's 2018 campaign) shows that young people can diversify what they listen to. Standing true to the proposition as a platform for discovery, Spotify Wrapped allows young people to cut through the vastness of their own musical consumption of the year; rediscover their music tastes, oddities and curios; and connect with their peers by presenting a clear picture of themselves in 2018, warts and all!

The message is clear - by listening more with Spotify, youth have the opportunity to listen better.